The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

July 28, 2011

Bank of America reacts to complaints from residents who lost homes

JOPLIN, Mo. — After a series of complaints from victims of the May 22 tornado, Bank of America has announced what it calls “improvements” in the way it handles those customers.

Dozens of homeowners filed complaints with the Missouri attorney general’s office after the storm, citing repeated delays in the processing of property insurance checks. The attorney general’s office says a week is a reasonable amount of time for storm victims to get their money; some victims waited much longer.

The Globe on July 10 reported the case of Cindy Atteberry, who wrangled with Bank of America for several weeks, then contacted her state senator and the attorney general’s office out of frustration.

Bank of America said that “after hearing some of the complaints from our customers,” it has set up a toll-free, dedicated number for Joplin homeowners who have questions or issues with the processing of their insurance checks.

The number — 866-808-7018 — is operational.

“In the meantime, Joplin homeowners are receiving top priority in the insurance claims area,” said Jumana Bauwens, spokeswoman for Bank of America.

“We have already put a number of back-end improvements in place. This effort goes a step further to emphasize how important this issue is to us and how we want to help our customers in Joplin.”

‘THE EASY PART’

Tornado survivor Julie Hunt, 34, said she didn’t believe anyone at Bank of America cared until she became so desperate that she “just begged” for help via email from Brian Moynihan, the company’s CEO and president.

On May 22, Hunt and her husband, Jason, clung to their three young children as their house at 23rd Street and Pearl Avenue “just exploded” above them. Shouts of “I love you” and “I’ll see you soon” were ripped away by the wind.

“We thought we were going to die,” she said.

When it was over, the Hunts were alive, but their home was a complete loss.

They got a settlement from their homeowners insurance company, Travelers, in three days, Julie Hunt said. One insurance check — for the contents of the house — was made out to her. The other — for the house itself, including paying off what remained of the mortgage — was made out to both Hunt and Bank of America.

After several frustrating weeks of trying to get that check processed by Bank of America, Hunt said: “Surviving the tornado was the easy part.”

Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

  • Issues prompt pair to seek help from city; allocations approved for repairs in tornado zone

    Two people spoke to the Joplin City Council on Monday night about issues they would like the city government to address. Elizabeth Clement, a Neosho resident who works in Joplin, asked the city to operate more surveillance in parking lots because of the number of cars stolen. She said her car was stolen from the parking lot at Northpark Mall and used in robberies.

    April 7, 2014

  • National institute releases final report on Joplin tornado

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Friday released a final report into the technical investigation of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin — the deadliest tornado in the United States in the 64 years that official records have been kept.

    March 28, 2014

  • r031814tornadofunds2.jpg Local tornado fund board cites appreciation, accomplishments

    The 991 donations ranged from $1 to $119,000. They came from all over the world. On Tuesday, the managers of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund gave an accounting of how those donations, which totaled about $995,950 with interest, were given in 41 grants, recipients of which included 27 local agencies.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dan Riddell 0604013.jpg Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment

    After investments that included stationing a company executive in Joplin for eight months last year, officials with Farmers Insurance said the company will continue its post-tornado commitment to Joplin in 2014. “We’re going to stay until the end,” said Doris Dunn, director of community relations for the company, on Wednesday. “That includes sending in another 100-plus volunteers and making some additional financial investments.”

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • r021714rescuedog.jpg Author prepares for release of children’s book featuring heroic Joplin rescue dog

    Carolyn Mueller is both a dog lover and a storyteller. So when she got the opportunity to write a story about a Joplin dog named Lily who helped search for survivors after the May 2011 tornado, she jumped on it. “Dogs like Lily can be heroes, too,” she said.

    February 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • VIDEO: Lost photos claim day to be held at museum

    National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park. The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.

    February 4, 2014

  • Building-permit total since tornado nears $1 billion

    The building of new homes in Joplin continues at an average pace of 16 to 18 per month, according to a building permit report released for December by the city of Joplin. Eighteen building permits for new homes were issued in both November and December. In fiscal year 2013, permits for new homes averaged more than 16 per month.

    January 31, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos


Featured Ads
Facebook
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief